Wednesday 11 July: cleaning the site

On site: Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews, Caoimhín Ó Coileáin, Keeley Hale, Arlene Walker, Eden Walker, Brian Tarry, Christl Squires, Frances Bourne, Greg Tarry, Hazel Alford, Jack Ryan, Jean Andrews, Martin Coard, Nadia Musaid, Natasha Males, Navid Tomlinson, Norman Norrington, Oliver Sharman, Rebecca Harrison, Sami Yusuf, Sid Rowe, Steven Mason, Tz-Ling Lai, William Hurry, Ewen Chipping, Paul Brown, Jordan Charalampous, William Siddey, Izzy Gray

Weather: sunny, light clouds, breezy; occasional showers

We have a good sized team for the first day and I hope that we’ll make rapid progress with cleaning. As expected, there are plenty of potential finds being marked (as we don’t yet have the grid established, we can’t yet locate them); at this early stage in the work, I suspect that a proportion will turn out not to be real finds and can be discarded before recording.

The site before cleaning

The site before cleaning: the henge bank is the white ring towards the back of the trench and the dark circle consists of deposits inside it

We have had a few showers, one of which was quite heavy. We worked through them, as it was quite obvious from the clouds that they wouldn’t last very long. The forecast for this afternoon is not good, though. So long as it remains no more than showers, then we will continue to work.

The people to set up and train us in the use of the total station arrived just before lunch and left around 3.30, which has tied me up for a large part of the day. However, during this time, the majority of the cleaning has been done, leaving only the area over the henge still to be scraped. Finds collection, as ever, is causing the main hold-up, with around 150 to 200 finds to be bagged, numbered and recorded.

Cleaning the trench in Stapleton’s Field on the first day of excavation from Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews on Vimeo.

Because the digging work has been more-or-less finished, it’s been possible to pack all the equipment away early, leaving only the total station work with the finds to be completed. The threatened rain for this afternoon has not happened and it has turned into quite a pleasant day.

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About Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews

I'm the Archaeology Officer for North Hertfordshire District Council Museum Service. I was born and brought up in Letchworth Garden City, so I have a life-long connection with the area.

Posted on 11 July 2012, in Fieldwork, Stapleton's Field Dig 2012. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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